Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 27.4.10, Morning

Dalia F., Dvorka O, Bruria R (reporting)

We began the tour at Hares. We entered a grocery store which we’ve been to at a previous tour; this time only the grocery owner and two young men, who didn't speak Hebrew, were there. They welcomed us cordially and offered us drinks. When we asked where the men who had been there last time were, they answered that they were working at Barkan. We bought some things and left.

We passed a house which the IDF had destroyed a week ago. According to our map the village is situated in the A Zone, or at least in the B Zone, and therefore it is not clear why the army has destroyed the house.
We entered a clothing shop and started to talk with the shop owner, who spoke excellent Hebrew (before we even could utter a word coffee arrived on a tray). He was not so familiar with the boundries of the zones and said that he didn't know in which zone the house was situated. According to him it was said that the house was built without license, the demolition was carried out without warning, and no chance was given to appeal against it in court. The person whose house was demolished had invested in it all the money he had saved for many years and now all went down the drain. He talked about the housing shortage in the village. Since Ariel was established the area of the village diminished more and more, road no. 5 robbed some of their lands and now the main road between the villages passes through the village itself and is narrow and winding.

Those who have lands near to Ariel, south of the road, cannot build. Those who have lands on the northern side of the road, in the area farther from Ariel – can build (the house we were talking about is on the remote side, and was destroyed nonetheless). According to the person we were talking with, the policy is to reduce the village as much as possible. We asked him how come he spoke such excellent Hebrew, and he told us that he had worked for many years in Israel, but when the closures began it became very difficult, and then he decided to open the shop. It is difficult to make a living from the shop because he sells on credit and in installments; people have no money to pay cash. He said that they very much want peace, but "the Israelis only want us to sit quietly".

Later we met the owner of a cosmetics shop who told us that her husband was working for the Palestinian Authority. He was lucky to have work, but the pay is low.

We passed through Kira, Zeita, Jam'in and entered Inabus. There we met the owners of the second hand shop. He had approached us in former visits asking for help for his daughter who is prevented from visiting her husband in prison. Regretfully we didn't have good tidings in the matter. Now he had another problem – his second daughter is married to a young man from Gaza. They had lived in Inabus and their house had been destroyed. They are not living in Ein Urif in a house they bought, they are afraid that the husband will be expelled according to the new regulations. As a result of the destruction of their former home the children suffer from anxieties and one of them started stuttering. They ask for medical aid. We made contact between them and "Doctors without Borders".

We arrived at the Huwwara CP. The inspection is random and the queues aren't long.

On the main street of Huwwara there are soldiers but they don't check the passersby. At Zaatara cars aren't being checked but at the entrance to Kifel Hares from road no. 5 – there are checks.